Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball
MY21 Ember & MY21 Storm Grey

Wide open, dawn to dusk.

The Highball is our flagship carbon hardtail race thoroughbred, and a dark horse in XC versatility.

On paper it’s a whip-cracking alternative to the Blur; the racer’s hardtail for high intensity assaults. But settle down for a long haul and it’s immediately clear the Highball is at home in a range of cross country environments—from XC sprints to 24-hour sufferfests.

The low-angle seat stays join the seat tube below the top tube junction. This new placement works in tandem with a bridgeless seat stay design to curb trail chatter. Built around a 27.2mm-diameter seat post, the whole package combines to take the “hard” out of hardtail riding.

The composite development team behind our MacAskill-proof carbon Reserve wheels were the same folks responsible for the Highball’s superior ride feel.  Meticulous application of carbon in only the most needed areas allows us to tune a really light frame that retains bags of torsional stiffness for the high-torque pedalers and strength for those braving the sketchy lines.  This is what compliance without compromise looks like.

The all new Highball is a half-pound lighter than before, yet manages to maintain all the rider favorites of threaded BB reliability, internally routed cables, and 3 water bottle mounts.  All backed up with a genuine lifetime frame and carbon wheel warranty.  Complemented by a multitude of build options to suit your aspiration level, the Highball’s got everything you need to go forth and conquer.

*Prices are in US$ and exclude 15% South African V.A.T and 15% Bicycle Import Duties. Contact your local retailer for ZAR Pricing.

Key Features:

  • Available in: Carbon C & Carbon CC More Info
  • Wheel size: 29"
  • Rear travel: Hardtail
  • Priced from $3399 *Prices are in US$ & exclude V.A.T and Bicycle Import Duties (MSRP)
Santa Cruz Bicycles 27.5

Reserve Wheels

The motivation was simple; we knew we could make the most durable strength-to-weight composite wheels on the market, so we backed them up with a Lifetime Guarantee.

See the New Reserve

Build & Price

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Geometry & Sizing

Rollover table below to highlight frame dimensions.

CHead Tube Angle69.5°69.5°69.5°69.5°69.5°69.5°69.5°69.5°
DSeat Tube Length405mm15.94"430mm16.93"470mm18.5"530mm20.87"
EFront Center662mm26.06"690mm27.17"714mm28.11"751mm29.57"
FBB Height314mm12.36"314mm12.36"314mm12.36"314mm12.36"
GBB Drop56mm2.2"56mm2.2"56mm2.2"56mm2.2"
IChainstay Length426mm16.77"426mm16.77"426mm16.77"426mm16.77"
JHead Tube Length90mm3.54"100mm3.94"110mm4.33"130mm5.12"
KTop Tube Length587mm23.11"615mm24.21"638mm25.12"674mm26.54"
LSeat Tube Angle73°73°73°73°73°73°73°73°
MStandover Height708mm27.87"715mm28.15"740mm29.13"756mm29.76"
Seatpost Length
Stem Length70mm70mm70mm70mm80mm80mm80mm80mm
Crank Length170mm170mm175mm175mm175mm175mm175mm175mm
Geometry Illustration LayerreachGeometry Illustration LayerstackGeometry Illustration LayerheadtubeanGeometry Illustration LayerseattubelenGeometry Illustration LayerfrontcenterGeometry Illustration LayerbbheightGeometry Illustration LayerbbdropGeometry Illustration LayerwheelbaseGeometry Illustration LayerchainstayGeometry Illustration LayerheadtubelenGeometry Illustration LayertoptubeGeometry Illustration LayerseattubeanGeometry Illustration LayerstandoverGeometry Illustration Layerbase

Frame Sizing

5'1"155 — 5'5"165cm
5'5"165 — 5'9"175cm
5'9"175 — 6'1"185cm
6'1"185 — 6'5"196cm

Tech Support

Can I run 27.5 plus wheels with the Highball?

No. The Highball was designed around 29in tires and there isn't enough clearance for a plus setup.

If you're interested in a 29er that can run 27.5 plus tires, check out the Chameleon.

Can I run this bike with 27.5 plus wheels?

No. We specifically designed this bike around 29in tires and there isn't enough clearance for a plus setup.

How does Highball spec compare to other bikes in your range?

You can compare builds and bikes right from our Bike Builder on this page. Just scroll up to the Bike Builder and click the button with two opposing arrows (next to FIND A DEALER and below the weight). Add the Highball, click Keep Browsing, and then click through to the product page of a bike you’d like to compare. Add that bike using the same method and then you’ll be able to see the builds side-by-side.

What are the options for seat posts, bottles, and chain guides?

The Highball was designed to allow for setups that accommodate long rides or trail riding.

You can carry three water bottles. One on the seat tube for easy access , one on the downtubeand one on the bottom of the downtube as a spare.
It's dropper post compatible and the options are plentiful. Just make sure you get a 27.2 diameter post.
Running a chain guide is an option. We recommend an excellent one from OneUp.

What kind of riding can I do with the Highball?

The Highball is designed for XC racing; anything from eliminators to sprints to 24-hour sufferfests.

Where can I demo the newest model of this bike?

We’ll have the newest version available for demo at the Factory in Santa Cruz, California. We also suggest contacting your local Santa Cruz retailer to check for demo availability in your area.

Where can I find additional technical information for my bike?

Currently all technical info is located either on the bike archive or under tech support. Both can provide helpful information for puzzling with your bike, torque specs, and exploded diagrams.